- Amazon has a logistics service known as Fulfilment by Amazon, which offers its third-party sellers the chance to have items sold on Amazon’s site stored, packaged, and shipped to customers for a fee.
- Amazon offers the same service when a seller is selling these items on other marketplaces such as eBay or Etsy. This service is known as Multi-Channel Fulfillment and is more expensive to use.
- Vox reported that the discrepancy in price between these two services has caught the attention of the Federal Trade Commission, which is questioning Amazon’s competitors about the practice.
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Amazon has found a way into your life even when you’ve chosen to shop at a competitor.
Amazon operates a logistics service called Fulfillment by Amazon, or FBA. FBA gives third-party sellers an easy way to manage their store. For a fee, Amazon will store, package, and ship any items bought on its site out to Amazon customers.
What is lesser known, however, is that Amazon also offers the same service to people who are selling the same products on competing marketplaces, such as Ebay and Etsy. This service is known as Multi-Channel Fulfillment.
In simple terms, it means Amazon could deliver you a package even if you bought it somewhere else.
While this is certainly a convenient way for sellers to run their stores and keep the storage, packaging, and shipping process in one place – it comes at a price.
According to Vox, sellers can pay up to 75% more to have packages shipped out to customers who bought the item on a competing platform. And according to Vox, it’s this price discrepancy that recently caught the attention of US regulators.
A spokesperson for Amazon did not immediately respond to Business Insider’s request for comment.
This shipping service is an easy way for Amazon to get its brand into the homes of more consumers as these shipped items are wrapped in Amazon packaging.
“I purchased a couple of Culligan water filter replacement cartridges on eBay and man were they here fast 1 day shipping just wow!” one Ebay shopper wrote on an Ebay community page. “But the box they came in was from Amazon I thought it’s just a used box but no inside there’s a receipt from Amazon fulfillment for my order.”
It’s not certain whether this shopper received the item via Fulfillment by Amazon but some of the commenters on that page suggested that this was likely.
Edesk, a helpdesk for online sellers, wrote in a blog post that the confusion over the Amazon packaging could also send customers on to Amazon’s site as they cross check prices. “If the item is available for less on Amazon, that can be a problem for eBay sellers,” the writer said in the blog post.
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